“Nowruz is a celebration of the rebirth of the planet and our souls”
Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273).
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the Diotima Center held a celebration for the Afghan New Year at the Malakasa Refugee Shelter.
The event took place in the safe space for women set up by the Center at the structure. The space is utilized for the completion of educational, social, and other activities aimed at the female refugee population residing there and in the context of providing services for cases of gender-based violence.
The space had been decorated and taken care of especially for the day and there was an accompaniment of traditional (and non-traditional) Afghan and Iranian music and food for the women visitors.
The attendance on the part of the women was quite large and the atmosphere cheerfully contributed to the general festive atmosphere which prevailed, due to the day. Women of all ages, with their children, came to have fun dancing and talking or simply to exchange wishes with their acquaintances.
Nowruz (New Day in Farsi, روز New نو Day) is an ancient cultural tradition, 3000 years old, believed to have been started by Zoroastrians and marks the official start of spring, at the vernal equinox.
It is precisely calculated, each year, at the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator. About 190 million people in the world celebrate it as New Year, in countries such as Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, India, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kosovo.
The festive days begin a month earlier with general cleaning of the house, preparation of “Sabzi” (green) which is sprouted wheat in a pan, and the preparation of the festive table consisting of seven items whose names begin with the letter “S ( س)’ of the Persian alphabet: Shib (mill), Serke (vinegar), Sen-jed (Jijifi), Shomag (Sumac), Shamanu (sweet porridge of the sprout, “sprouts of wheat”), Sonbol (Hyacinth), and Sir (Garlic). These natural elements symbolize the year that ended and the beginning of the new one.
The UN has declared March 21st International Nowruz Day.
Special thanks must be given to the following for their kind sponsorships. Specifically:
- To the supermarket chain SclavenitisA.E. for a gift voucher worth 80 euros
- To & K. Stergiou & Co. O.E. for supplying 2 kg of sweets
- To the company LOUX Marlafekas ABEE for one box with juices and the six soft drinks
- To Krikorian & Co. for the donation of 7 kilos of various nuts as well as a number of chocolates and candies of various flavors